david j. moore chats with Black Rose star Alexander Nevsky…
Western Audiences may not be familiar with bodybuilder-turned action star Alexander Nevsky, but in Russia he’s a bona fide star. Nevsky has been quietly creating his own projects to star in, starting with the surprisingly earnest and stellar film Moscow Heat, which emulated the Walter Hill actioner Red Heat, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Speaking of Schwarzenegger, Nevsky’s build, voice, and demeanor are a striking ringer for Arnold, and Nevsky knows this and plays it to his benefit. Nevsky’s other films include the also quite entertaining genre hybrid mashup Treasure Raiders, which combined the best ingredients of The Fast and the Furious and National Treasure, and he’s back with this year’s serial killer thriller/action film Black Rose, co-starring Kristanna Loken, and a little later in the year with the Expendables-type action flick Showdown in Manila, which co-stars action stars like Cynthia Rothrock, Olivier Gruner, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, and Mark Dacascos. Nevsky is worth paying attention to, and in this interview he discusses his career and his latest films.
I’m so glad that Black Rose is finally getting a release. Tell me a little bit about the project and how it came together.
First of all, thank you very much for your words. There used to be video stores on every corner, so it’s hard to get movies like this made. Black Rose was supposed to be a sequel to Moscow Heat. I basically play the same character. But we decided to make it a standalone film. The idea came to me around 2007. I’d always wanted to do a movie like a fish out of water movie. In Moscow Heat, Michael York is the fish out of water in Moscow. In Black Rose, my Russian character is a fish out of water in Los Angeles. I join the LAPD to find a killer. This was a dream come true. I was smart enough to have Sheldon Lettich, who is a great director, become the executive producer on this. My cast and crew supported me a lot.
We’re living in a time where it’s tougher to become an action star. The kinds of movies you star in are becoming very rare and a thing of the past, so it gives me hope to see that you’re creating these projects for yourself.
I watched all the Stallone movies like the Rocky movies. I was into Arnold and I became a bodybuilder. I started in Russia, and I started touring the world. Everywhere you go – especially here in Los Angeles – so many talented people have big dreams to make it in the industry. They want to be directors, writers, actors, and they all dream about it. You should stop dreaming and start doing that. You shouldn’t wait for someone to give it to you. They wait for someone to call them or for someone to give them money for their film, but that’s not what you should do. I always put my favorite stars in my films. When you watch my next one Showdown in Manila, I put every action star in it that wasn’t in The Expendables. Mark Dacascos, Casper Van Dien, Cary Tagawa, Don Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, and more. And I did another one called Maximum Impact, and it’s an action comedy with Danny Trejo, Dacascos, and others. I make these movies because I don’t wait for anyone to give me the chance. I don’t care that these kinds of movies aren’t produced any longer. I want to make them, so I make them. These come out in theaters in Russia, so of course that helps. I just hope that audiences get my message. If I can do that, anyone else can do that also.
I’ve been paying attention to you, man. I actually enjoyed your movie Treasure Raiders as well. It was fun.
Thank you, thank you. It was the first time I mixed genres. It’s a little dangerous to mix genres. With Black Rose, I mixed so many. Action, mystery, horror. I love genre movies. I want to mix them. Black Rose is my favorite so far. I produced it, directed it, starred in it … Was it tough? Of course, but it was pure joy all the way.
It would be obvious to anybody that you emulate Arnold Schwarzenegger without even trying. I think it works to your benefit. Would you say something about that?
Yes. I was doing some bodybuilding in Russia and one day it was filmed and ended up on T.V. I woke up the next morning, and saw that they were calling me “The Russian Schwarzenegger.” It was a gift. I love Arnold. I am inspired by Arnold. My movie Moscow Heat was released theatrically, and I started on the exact thing that you mentioned. You can’t emulate someone’s success: It should be your own. Arnold is great because he’s done so many great things. He’s been a big inspiration. He’s a role model.
What’s the deal with Showdown in Manila? What’s taking so long? I can’t wait to see it.
It will be released in October. It was released last year all over Europe and Russia. I wanted to make sure I had distribution for Black Rose first, and so it will be out later this year.
Black Rose is getting a theatrical release here in Los Angeles. Would you like to say something about who you’re hoping the audience is for this film?
I just hope that people who love these kinds of action films will enjoy it. To be honest with you, it’s a movie where Russian and American people work together. They’re not fighting each other, but working together. It’s the right time to release it. It’s perfect timing. We have to be friends: Russians and Americans. We have to be friends.
Black Rose will be released in theaters on April 28th, and on DVD and VOD on May 2nd.
david j. moore